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Sanctification - Russian River Brewing Company

Not Rated.

Displayed for educational use only; do not reuse.

2,061 Ratings
no score

(send 'em beer!)
Ratings: 2,061
Reviews: 571
rAvg: 4.33
pDev: 9.24%
Wants: 1,075
Gots: 630 | FT: 38
Brewed by:
Russian River Brewing Company visit their website
California, United States

Style | ABV
American Wild Ale |  6.75% ABV

Availability: Rotating

Notes/Commercial Description:
No notes at this time.

(Beer added by: Bierman9 on 10-27-2004)
Beer: Ratings & Reviews
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Ratings: 2,061 | Reviews: 571 | Display Reviews Only:
Photo of KickInTheChalice
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.25

From notes. Poured from a 375 mL bottle into a tulip.

The pour is a light hazy straw color with a tight, but small creamy head.

The aroma has a nice lemon tartness to it, but the focus is on the funky Brett and hay notes. There is a bit of apricot behind it.

The flavor starts with a light pale malt sweetness, with a tartness that builds over the course of the sip. Lemon zest, hay, a bit of apricot, and a little vinegar. As the sip winds down, the lemon zest really takes over and steps up the sour flavor.

The body starts a little bit fuller than medium for the style, with a medium and slightly creamy carbonation. Toward the end it dries out a little bit.

This is very nice. Russian River has a good portfolio of great sours.

KickInTheChalice, Jan 30, 2013
Photo of Danielr26
4/5  rDev -7.6%

Danielr26, Feb 18, 2013
Photo of DeanMoriarty
4/5  rDev -7.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Had this on draft last week at Russian River Brewing Co. listed on their board as "100% Brettanomyces, 6.25%ABV" for $4 -poured into a tulip glass.

A: Pours a fairly clean straw-like hue, with a constant light effervescence, and basically no head and not much lacing either.

S: Very mellow woodiness and light Brett funk, green apples and grain.

T: Very mellow and similar to the nose, light funk, mild sourness with a grainy/bready finish. This is an extremely friendly Wild Ale and would be a good starting point for someone who wants to get into these types of wild/sour ales.

M: Light-bodied and similar feel to a dry champagne - smooth, crisp and clean, mellow carbonation and a bit of lactic bitterness that lingers a while, but is not overaggressive by any means.

D: All day drinker, especially in the hot summer months.

DeanMoriarty, Dec 21, 2010
Photo of avaldivia
4/5  rDev -7.6%

avaldivia, Feb 04, 2012
Photo of ldhughes3
4/5  rDev -7.6%

ldhughes3, Jun 06, 2014
Photo of kbrown
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

kbrown, May 17, 2014
Photo of rowingbrewer
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

rowingbrewer, Jan 08, 2013
Photo of mjtiernan
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

mjtiernan, Nov 15, 2011
Photo of craytonic
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Appearance: Light golden-sun-lemon-yellow with a slight haze. Nice head and lacing.

Smell: Great citrus/lemon funk on the nose - barnyard, hay, wood, etc. Also white fruits like pears, apples, and white grapes

Taste: Lemongrass, peach, orange and pears with the barnyard funk described above. Very dry, nice sourness.

Mouthfeel: Very dry with a light, champagne-like carbonation. I wish it had a bit more body, finishes a tad thin.

Drinkability: Off the charts for a wild ale, this one disappears.

craytonic, Sep 10, 2009
Photo of dertyd
3.75/5  rDev -13.4%

dertyd, May 31, 2014
Photo of pwoods
4.38/5  rDev +1.2%
look: 4 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Big thanks to zminor for the trade!

750ml corked and caged brown bottle, poured into a tulip. Batch 3 from '07.

A: Bright lemony color with a nice pearly white head. Decent retention and lacing.

S: Nice soft funkiness, barnyard and musty. Light grainy with a bit of Belgian sweetness.

T/M: Pleasant funky and tart flavors. It's been in the bottle awhile and I definitely think that's helped develop the very tasty flavors. No hops to speak of but it has a nice husky, earthy grain bill that doesn't overpower the tasty funk. Body is light with healthy carbo, still.

D: Drinks very easily, too bad it's impossible to get.

pwoods, Sep 21, 2009
Photo of ObeMaltKinobee
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%

ObeMaltKinobee, Mar 23, 2012
Photo of LambicPentameter
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Enjoyed out of a brown 375 mL C&C bottle with a bottling date of 11/28/12. Poured into a Boulevard Smokestack edition tulip glass.

Appearance - Pours a cloudy yellow the color of egg yolk with darker orangish highlights as well. Foam is about a finger-and-a-half of ivory microbubbles that is so fine it appears like a layer of thick fog atop the body. After dissipating to a half finger of head pretty quickly (30 secs), it remains throughout leaving silky slick light lacing.

Smell - The Brett really dominates the lighter blonde base beer, pushing the other flavors to the side. Funky and tart with some hints of starfruit and lemonade.

Taste - Wonderfully tart at first, but fades back quickly to reveal sourdough complexity and citrus rind and fruity spice. Again the Brett provides a barnyard element that balances well with this otherwise delicate beer.

Mouthfeel - Effervescent and yet creamy at the same time. Light bodied with high levels of carbonation with a dry finish.

Overall a fantastically balanced sour and one I could see being a gateway for people looking to get into sour ales. Tart but not overpowering and highly drinkable.

LambicPentameter, Jul 06, 2013
Photo of spoony
4.43/5  rDev +2.3%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

From a 375 ml bottle (dated November 28, 2012) into a tulip.

A-This brew produces a healthy, three-finger head of shiny, soapy, off-white foam. The head hangs around for quite a while, which isn't surprising since carbonation is very visible in the beer. The brew is yellowish, gold in color and a touch murky.

S-The smell is a big dose of funk. There is a lot of brett here giving off that earthy, musty note that plays quite well against the slightly tart lemon, mandarin orange, and straw characters of the beer. The smell is complex and pleasing; I keep sticking my nose in to get another whiff.

T-The taste is also quite heavy on the brett. I taste a lactic, earthy tartness that combines nicely with lemon, mandarin orange, straw, candy sugar, and a touch of oaky vinegar. Again, pleasing and drinkable. The sour factor is low to medium, and fits well with rest of the brew.

M-The brew starts out with a wave of noticeable carbonation and finishes on the slick side. The heft is moderate and pairs nicely with the flavors.

O-This is another great Russian River wild/sour ale. Brewers can sometimes overplay their hand when it comes to brett beers, but this one manages to keep the smell and flavors that brett imparts without making brett the only thing going on. I'm not sure if this was the right beer to drink on a snowy March evening, but I will certainly search this out again in warmer seasons.

spoony, Mar 11, 2013
Photo of Beertracker
4.58/5  rDev +5.8%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

From the label...Sanctification [sanc.ti.fi.ca.tion], n. 1. to set apart for sacred use; consecrate. 2. to make holy; purity. 3. to give religious sanction to, as with an oath or vow.

Sanctification pours up effervescent with a cascading white head which dissipates rather quickly revealing a slightly hazy straw golden body. The moderately acidic aroma is surprisingly complex with a nice intermingling of Brett character (earthy barnyard, horse blanket, etc...) & citrus fruits (grapefruit, lemon, tangerine) with some mild toasted oak & warm vanilla wafer notes. The flavor starts off slightly grainy with some earthy hop spiciness that carries into a tart, yeasty, zesty finish. This light to medium-light bodied sour blonde ale is refreshing and surprisingly complex. Russian River's Sanctification is truly a wild ale that will have the sour beer fans rejoicing at its wonderous pucker power. "Who's afraid of the "Big Bad BRETT?" Certainly not me!

CHEERS! Beertracker

Beertracker, Jan 29, 2008
Photo of Bartos
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Bartos, Apr 25, 2014
Photo of Ajlvt
4.75/5  rDev +9.7%

Ajlvt, May 23, 2014
Photo of Evan
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

Evan, Jun 16, 2013
Photo of pokesbeerdude
4.5/5  rDev +3.9%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

375ml bottle into a NB Globe, purchased at Supermarket Liquors in Ft. Collins, CO. $11. Batch 005

A: Pours a clear gold with an enormous white head, a good two inches worth. Violent carbonation is moving through the glass. Excellent clarity. Awesome lacing is left behind as the head slowly fades away.

S: Incredibly funky, tons of barnyard and staank. Some definite sour lemons, and an interesting lemon/lime characteristic has started to emerge. Smells funky and sour and awesome.

T: This beer has gotten to be much more sour than I originally remember it. Huge barnyard funk and sour cherries and lemons find their way in there. Again this cool lemon/lime flavor is starting to show up in the beer, this is aging nicely. Nice oak barrel flavors.

M: Light, crisp, prickly carbonation and a dry finish. Puckering and a nice amount of lacto spit thickening going on too. Spot on.

O: My favorite sour from Russian River, really great stuff and it is aging wonderfully. Not much else to say other than this is killer stuff!

pokesbeerdude, Apr 14, 2012
Photo of freduardo
4/5  rDev -7.6%

freduardo, Nov 14, 2011
Photo of drtth
4.68/5  rDev +8.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4.5

Poured into a Duvel glass. Glass of cold water on the side to sip from periodically. This bottle is from batch 006.

Appearance: As poured the beer is a hazed dark lemon yellow with a 1/2” white creamy head that soon begins to recede to a ring and a 1/16” layer. Sipping creates sheets of foam that slide back down to the liquid on one side but on the other leave arches, legs and speckles of foam to show where the sip was taken. While the layer of foam thins over time the effects of taking a sip persist for most of the beer.

Smell: The pleasant gentle aroma is immediately detectable during the pour and it is clear that Brettanomyces yeast has been at work here. There is some musty funk mingled with lemon zest and traces of green apple. In the background there is a bit of malt but in a very muted supporting role.

Taste: The flavor is crisp, clean and refreshing with a nice dose of tartness from the lemon zest and the green apple. The malt and funk remain in the background, noticeable but in a supporting role. I can easily imagine that the funk will become more pronounced with more bottle age.

Mouthfeel: The mouth feel is on the light side of medium bodied, soft, slightly creamy with persistent gentle carbonation. The finish is on the long side o medium with the tartness and a touch of sweetness fading out into a nicely dry, slightly bitter finish.

Drinkability and Overall Impression: I’ve quite enjoyed this beer and am looking forward to aging a couple of these to see how it changes over the next year or so. This is a well made version of the style and its very interesting to be able to explore the complexity contributed by the Brettanomyces as the primary ferementation yeast. My overall impression is that this is a very well made beer that can be summed up in two words, “complex” and “subtle.”

drtth, Apr 09, 2012
Photo of CityofBals
3.5/5  rDev -19.2%

CityofBals, Sep 12, 2013
Photo of Treyliff
4.28/5  rDev -1.2%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

Review #500.
Bottled on 11/28/12
Poured into a RR snifter
Cork exploded out of the bottle and bounced off the ceiling

A- Pours a hazy golden yellow color with a huge fluffy, pillowy and creamy white head that seems to retain forever. Huge patches of lace stick to the glass as it slowly settles. Pretty sure you could float a bottle cap 5 minutes after the pour

S- a little bit of yeasty barnyard funk brings some nice fruity esters of green apple, pear, peach, grape skin and lemon peel. Very similar to chardonnay aromas

T- tart and juicy ripe fruit flavors of lemon, candied grapefruit peel, and pear. A bit of barnyard funk kicks in mid-palate with light cheesy/sourdough notes, tart finish with some woodsy notes and more fruit

M- light and crisp, foamy mouthfeel with biting carbonation, leading to a puckering dry finish

O- So many fruity notes throughout with white-wine-like aromas, with just enough funk snuck in there, sour but not completely puckering, this one is way to easy to drink, very nice

Treyliff, Dec 03, 2013
Photo of dansmcd
4.25/5  rDev -1.8%

dansmcd, Feb 14, 2014
Photo of JamieDuncan
4.86/5  rDev +12.2%

JamieDuncan, Aug 15, 2014
Sanctification from Russian River Brewing Company
96 out of 100 based on 2,061 ratings.